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MOSCOW, July 5. /TASS/. Russia demands that Azerbaijan’s authorities stop discriminating Russian citizens with Armenian surnames arriving in the country, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
"We have to state that Russian citizens arriving in Azerbaijan are indeed subject to discrimination on ethnic grounds," the ministry said in a statement. Russia calls on Azerbaijan to halt the "outrageous discriminatory practice that is incompatible with friendly relations between the two countries," it said. "Certainly, we will draw conclusions from this situation."
According to the ministry, since the start of the year 25 Russian citizens have been banned from entering Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani authorities detained them for several hours, in some cases without providing them with food, water and medical assistance, and then expelled them at their own expense. The authorities cited the citizens’ Armenian surnames as the reason for the move, and there were some cases when "persons with Russian surnames, names and patronymic names were questioned to find out if they have Armenian ancestors."
The ministry stresses that it has repeatedly demanded in official requests that Azerbaijan should stop this practice, but received no clear answer. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said in a note that "to prevent any undesirable incidents, Azerbaijan is forced to apply certain regulations in regard to some persons."